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"Trying to find the right WW2 6mm ruleset for me" Topic

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ToughBobbins25 Jul 2021 4:37 a.m. PST

Hey everyone,

I realise theres many posts of this nature, but I feel a little guidance would save me a lot of time!

I'm new to the hobby and have two small forces ready to go in 6mm..

unfortunately I'm hazy on the correct terminology for the 'scale' of game I'm after…

really I want very roughly 10 tank bases, 20 infantry bases and extra support bits… Artillery and Air strikes would be great too.

We bounced right off Fist Full of Tows 3, it was just too tough for our budding rules light group.

We really enjoyed the random activation and simplicity of Bolt Action.. but dont think it will translate to the size of game we want..

We would also love a degree of the fog of war aspect, troops not always following orders and even better, truly hidden troops on the field beneath markers..

Flames of War – Seems a strong contender but not fond of IGYG..
Spearhead – seems too dense on the surface.
IABSM – Also seems innovative but not keen on the need for the specialist cards..

Something innovative and straight forward would really be best for us I think…

I realise this may be a lot to ask, apologies!

Thanks in advance for any guidance, it would be much appreciated!

John Leahy Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 5:16 a.m. PST

Blitzkrieg Commander IV from Pendraken will work. You can buy a hardcopy or a pdf. Lots of YouTube videos you can look at to help decide. Wargames Vault carries the pdf.



repaint25 Jul 2021 5:23 a.m. PST

We're playing Combat HQ at the moment.
Fog of war: check
Randomness of orders: check
Simple enough: check
Around 16~20 bases a side

If you are beginning, you may want to play All Hell Let Loose. It is a bit the same as Combat HQ in scope, but the rules are more straightforward.


williamb25 Jul 2021 7:58 a.m. PST

Lightning War Red Storm uses a die roll to determine who has priority of formation movement during a turn. Higher scores can choose to move first, last or anywhere in between if more than one unit per side. Rules and scenarios can be downloaded free from the LWRS Units are three+ bases each so 16-20 units would provide two formations per side. Some players have made additional gaming aids. Fistful of Tows is a very good game system, but it is more for experienced players. Spearhead and Test of Battle also fall into this area. Blitzkrieg Commander and Cold War Commander are not as complicated, but should have someone who is very familiar with the rules to guide new players. Flames of War is fun to play, but has a lot of special rules that used to require additional army books.

blank frank25 Jul 2021 8:01 a.m. PST

Well Rapid Fire! which are usually thought of as a 20mm set of rules have a 6mm following. I use an infantry base =3 figures in RF terms which in turn is a section. What I like is the 6" infantry move which makes them more tactically relevant. Some micro tank rules have them move 50mm! OK the rules are old school and they've been around for years but they've even managed to re-invent them selves of late and become simpler. Something many rule sets don't.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 8:03 a.m. PST

Another vote for Blitzkrieg commander

parrskool25 Jul 2021 8:48 a.m. PST

Mechanised Warfare Rules by Andrew Thomas
Get them cheap from Irregular Miniatures…….
When you get into them you find that there's a lot more to them than meets the eye, and easy to adapt.

RobBrennan25 Jul 2021 8:50 a.m. PST

If you want a fast play set for higher level actions (divisional) then KISS Rommel is free and good

Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP25 Jul 2021 9:43 a.m. PST

The good thing about Blitzkrieg Commander is that you may have higher odds of finding someone else to play with who has the rules.

stephen m25 Jul 2021 12:02 p.m. PST

Take a look at five core company command.


Doesn't scratch my itch but may yours. Not too deep but some very good mechanisms which might cover the areas you want in your games with not a ton of rules. A lot of the book is what I would call optional or advanced rules.

Mark 125 Jul 2021 6:52 p.m. PST

You mention the "scale" of game, but you seem mostly to mean the size of the game. I offer that distinction because it may help you narrow the field if you do actually determine what scale of game you want to play -- I mean what unit scale in this case.

Many rulesets that are popular with 6mm models are 1-to-platoon or 1-to-5 unit scales. In such cases one model tank on the table represents a platoon of tanks, or maybe 5 tanks, in the game. This approach seems to be the most popular these days.

Other rulesets to to even larger unit scales, with 1-to-company or even 1-to-battalion scales, allowing gamers to play brigade or even division sized games.

My own preference is 1-to-1 for vehicles. I prefer a game where one tank model represents 1 tank. For the infantry I prefer a squad level unit scale (using American vocabulary). I want one stand of infantry to generally represent a squad of 8 12 men (I think the equivalent in British Army would be section). There are rules that are 1-to-1 on vehicles that go down one level further, where one stand would equal what the US Army calls a fire team or a section (often confusing to those accustomed to Brit-speak), which is a sub-unit of the squad with 3 to 6 men.

My current preferred ruleset is Mein Panzer, published by Old Dominion GameWorks (ODGW here: They also publish the General Quarters 3rd Edition naval rules which are pretty well regarded, as well as rules for ACW and Napoleonic era warfare.

I find Mein Panzer to be the best rules I've played yet for my preferred type of game. I like combined arms, and I find this ruleset mixes tanks, infantry, support guns, etc. better than others. In particular I have seen too many games where the tanks are doing fine, then the infantry gets out of their transports and the game grinds to a halt, with the game ending after just one or two more crushingly long slow turns. Mein Panzer are reasonably fast play There's enough detail to keep me interested (so for example a T-34 has different armor ratings than a Pz IIIm), but not so much detail that it dominates the game (such as a T-34m41 having a weak spot at the hull MG mount that was improved on the T-34m42). And the infantry play at about the same speed as the tanks. Very balanced.

It is generally an I-go-You-go turn, but the game turn is divided into multiple activations. You don't have to make any roles to activate. Each activation you get to play one "unit". You chose which unit, and you activate it. Each unit activates only once per turn, so after each side has activated all their units the turn ends and you start on the next turn.

Units are generally platoon-sized formations (typically 3 to 5 stands, but might be only 1 or 2 stands). Could be actual platoons, could be an HQ, could be a battery of guns, it depends on your force. When you activate a unit you get to play only those tanks (or troops, or guns) in that unit. So as a gamer you are forced to think in terms of your force structure -- you don't just see a bunch of tanks scampering around, but you see platoons of tanks working together. But there is no paperwork or tables and die-rolls or other external overlays causing this -- it's just the way the turn works.

The infantry are generally one squad per stand. Most squads have a combination of weapons, often including an LMG. All of this is factored in to the squad's combat rating. But sometimes you also have smaller "team" stands -- for example a support weapon like a machine gun might be a separate team stand. Squad sized stands will be harder to eliminate than smaller team stands (which is right, as they have more men).

The rules have core chapters, and then there are optional add-on chapters (for things like field engineering, air support, amphibious operations, etc.). You can ignore the optional add-ons if you just want to get playing with tanks and infantry. Or you can build up to almost everything that ever appeared on a mid-20th century battlefield.

I find the rules play very fluidly. In my experience each player can run maybe 15 to 25 tanks / stands, and the game flows admirably well. Once players are quite familiar with the rules they might be able to manage 30 stands or even a few more. At one-to-one (and one-to-squad) unit scale that generally means a full company with one or two attachments per player (or maybe a battalion of tanks for a Russian player). The game behaves quite well when the number of players grows -- so battalion-sized games with each player running a re-enforced company are quite reasonable if you can gather enough guys around the table. As the turn is broken into small "activations", all players are involved almost all the time, rather than one side having to measure and move all of their stands while the other side goes off to get food, grow beards or write novels.

I've played many rulesets over the years (many years ago, mind, so not all of the current rules). I settled on these more than a decade ago and have not budged since.

Your tankage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

Bandolier25 Jul 2021 8:02 p.m. PST

I also suggest All Hell Let Loose.

Most things are resolved with a d6 and it is not hard to pick up on the basic rules.

FFT3 is my preference, but All Hell Let Loose is easier to get casual players involved.

Mark 125 Jul 2021 8:33 p.m. PST

Two things I did not mention in my prior post (like it wasn't long enough already?!?!)

1) "We would also love a degree of the fog of war aspect, troops not always following orders and even better, truly hidden troops on the field beneath markers.."

I have added my own house-rules on this to how I play Mein Panzer, but it has worked equally well with other rulesets too.

Prior to the game I give each player their force, and an equal force of paper "chits" with a brief identification of what the stand is written on one side. I also give each player a surplus of some blank chits (anywhere from 25% to 33% above the chits actually needed).

At the start of the game players deploy these chits on the table, rather than their models. They move and play the chits just as if they were miniatures. When a chit is spotted (under the spotting rules of whatever ruleset you use), it is then replaced on the table with the actual model. Blank chits are also moved as the player wishes to move them, as if they were real units. But they are never spotted. If players are careful not to call out what type of unit is being spotted early in the process (and depending on the rules) this can be done by simply saying "with a role of 9 you did not spot anything". Which is often met by the mumbled reply of "Well what-the H3LL is that thing if I can't spot it with a 9? [shuffling through the rules … flip flip flip] An artillery observer? A sniper?" No, my friend, it is only a suspicion. You are boxing with shadows…

I've even had players forget to turn their chits over the double-check them before moving, only to find at some critical moment that they put blanks where they thought they had real units, and their real units have wandered off somewhere un-intended. With generally hilarious results. "Ah, now we'll open up with our … BLANKS?!? What the … when where did my tanks go?"

2) Free trial version
The good folks at ODGW provide a free-to-download trial version of the rules. I think they call it the kid's version or some such, but it is available in the downloads area of their website. It is a simplified version of the rules with tanks only (no infantry, guns, etc.), but it lets you try the combat mechanics, the turn sequence and unit activations concepts at no cost.

(aka: Mk 1)

Beaky Nose26 Jul 2021 8:30 a.m. PST

Blitzkrieg Commander might suit you.

Crow Bait26 Jul 2021 8:43 a.m. PST

I agree with MK I about Mein Panzer. One thing he did not mention is that Rules Updates are always free. Also, the rules and the army list are separate purchases. But they have the most complete list for every country in the list I have ever seen. A great set of rule.

Dexter Ward27 Jul 2021 1:06 a.m. PST

Battlefront:WW2 is an excellent set with lots of support which works well in 6mm. Very good spotting and artillery rules, and very good integration of armour and infantry

The Tin Dictator29 Jul 2021 4:18 p.m. PST

Here's a link to a FREE ruleset called "Hurrah Stalino" that we have used a few times. Its specifically designed for large, theatre sized actions using 6mm figures.
Its very basic but quite playable with realistic results.

I have no affiliation with them. I just know they work.


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